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Specify Software Project

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Services, Support and Registration

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The Specify Software Project provides a suite of support services for research institutions that choose Specify for their primary database system. Specify Project services include:

Data Migration

Once you have registered, if you provide us with a copy of your current institutional collection database, we will convert it to the Specify data model and import your data into Specify and return it to you for testing.

Help Desk Support

We provide call-in, email-in, fax-in, and fly-in support for clients. Our contact points are: (785) 864-4400 (voice),, (785) 864-5335 (fax). We are also accessible via Skype and Polycom H.323 (video) over the Internet. All of the inquiries and requests we receive are logged into our customer service database and assigned to a staff member for resolution. We review active issues daily and track them until they are resolved. Jean Burgess coordinates help desk activities and assigns questions, problems or general issues to the appropriate staff member. We respond as quickly as possible.

Software Debugging and Fixes

If you find a bug in Specify and it's not one of your own specimen records, we'll swat it! Although we do extensive testing of releases, we are eager to know about any unwelcome bugs to correct them. We also like to hear your opinions on items that straddle the line between features and bugs. For larger, longer-term design issues, we maintain a rolling, prioritized list of functional issues and new capabilities to be addressed in future releases.

Interface Customization

Specify has a highly configurable, customizable Windows interface. The Specify Project offers free assistance with the optimization of data entry forms for your collection. Interface customization greatly enhances the efficiency of data entry and editing.  Specify can hide unwanted data fields and allows fields to be renamed to fit your institution's customary usage.

Report and Label Template Customization

We also offer free customization of report templates for loan invoices, printed catalog pages and for various classes of specimen labels. This service optimizes Specify's printed outputs for the mail, labeling and paper record-keeping tasks associated with your collection.


The Specify Project works with institutions to offer training either at KU or on-site, depending on needs and institutional resources. Contact us if your institution has an interest in training, or if you would like to meet with us at KU. We are happy to customize a training experience to meet your requirements.

Taxonomic Authority File Creation

Specify is able to import taxonomic data from external sources which can then be used as a taxonomic lookup for collection cataloging purposes. If your institution has high-quality taxonomic data which you would like to make available to collections managers and catalogers in your community, let us know and we'll convert it to a PC format which Specify can import. We're happy to provide taxonomic authority files through our web site, or let you do it through your institution.


The Specify Software Project recognizes two classes of users: Evaluation and Registered Clients.

Evaluation Clients are able to:

  • Use any number of copies of Specify
  • Use any of the technical documents and support features of the Specify Project web site

Registered users are entitled to:

  • All of the above benefits
  • Unlimited technical support, data migration, and interface and report customization assistance

Why Register?

Specify is available for free without a license fee. As a way to strengthen the Specify Software Project's commitment to users and to ensure effective use of project resources, we ask institutions that use Specify as their primary collection database management system to register with us. Registering for Specify is free and it qualifies your department or institution for a higher level of technical support services not available to evaluation users. Registering Specify also allows us document Specify usage, which helps to secure ongoing grant support. As part of the registration process we ask for some basic information about your collection and about the data you plan to manage in Specify.

How to Register

If you have downloaded and installed Specify, in the installation directory you will find the files: registration.doc and registration.txt. By completing and returning the signed registration form by fax or by paper mail, we will be available to prioritize work with you on data migration, data interface form and report customization.

Created by admin
Last modified 2006-12-20 12:34 PM

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